Links & Resources

Hoop Workshops at Dovercourt, Ottawa ON

Workshops are a wonderful way to learn new skills and experience different instructors' teaching styles as well as to meet and play with the local hoop community and visiting hoopers. Dovercourt Recreation Centre has hosted a series of workshops in both hoop & poi. Scroll down to see an archive of past workshops.

Babz Robinson, Jan 30 & 31, 2016.

The creator of amazing & hilarious online tutorials, Babz visited Ottawa so we could learn from her in person! Babz presented two workshops at Dovercourt Recreation Centre on Sat Jan. 30 and Sun. Jan. 31, 2016. 

Saturday January 30, 3:30-7:30pm

Flips, Flops and Flails

Flip your hooping on its axis and just go with the flail! Fill up that bag of tricks of yours, spice up that repertoire and add some fresh flair to your flow. Feeling like you’ve hit that “wall”? Pshaw! Don’t be silly! There are no walls here! Time to get funky and add some fun new moves to fill out your flow. I will fill your brains with as many moves as time and space in your beautiful melon allows This awesome workshop features fun floor pick ups, Coin flips, Wraps, pizza tosses and all kinds fun weird things I’ve cooked up while rotating the hoop on its axis either around your body or in the air. ohhhhh yaaaaachhhh!

Sunday January 31, 12:30 - 3:30pm

Killer Combos

Like big moves that add whoa to your flow? You’re not alone! Building big combinations and breaking them down into delicious bite sized morsels just happens to be a Babz specialty! Come fill your plate with new moves you may have thought too daunting to devour and leave empowered with the knowledge that you my dear, can eat big tricks for breakfast! Not only that but cook up your own killer combo recipe while you’re at it.This workshop also features lots of breaks with a focus on the knees. That’s right, after this you are going to be a knee break Kneeeenja!

About Babz: 

One of the hoop world's most prolific creators of hoop dance trick tutorials, Canadian native Babz Robinson has been raising the bar and innovating modern hoop dance since 2003. Her comprehensive tutorials and passion for sharing knowledge have earned her the Hoopies awards for both Instructor of the Year and Tutorial of the Year! When not found exploring the mountains surrounding her home she can be found teaching at the world's foremost hoop dance retreats and festivals. Rarely seen without a smile on her face, this exuberant woman lives to empower people in their hoops and in their lives. 


Lisa Lottie, July 2015

The amazing Lisa Lottie, International hoop performer, visited Ottawa for a special evening, just prior to appearing at the Ottawa International Buskerfest, July 30-Aug 3, 2015.

An Evening with Lisa Lottie:
Come hang out with Lisa for an evening of hardcore hooping and learn some of her signature moves! Mainly one-hoop tricks, but we will cover some multi-hooping basics so bring a couple of hoops if you have them. 

Tuesday July 28, 2015, 7-9:30pm, Dovercourt Recreation Centre, 411 Dovercourt Ave, Ottawa, ON

Time: 7-9:30pm


If you think it's all about talent, watch Lisa's inspiring TEDTalk, "My Weapon of Choice" about finding her passion (the hoop!), and her journey from high school dropout to International performer.

About Lisa: Lisa Lottie is a highly skilled, world class hula hoop artist born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has performed in 29 countries, over a hundred cities, has trained at 'Escola national de Circo' Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and holds a degree in circus from The Circus Space, London UK. She currently resides both in London, UK and Melbourne, Australia whilst touring the world wide street festival circuit with her show 'Bend it like Barbie'. Lisa also performs contortion and aerial hoop as well as her solo hula hoop acts at corporate events and cabaret/supper clubs. Her videos have over 1.5 million hits on Youtube.

Rachael Lust, May 2015

This dynamic young woman has been burning up the hoop scene over the last few years, touring the US teaching workshops, doing TV appearances (including the Queen Latifah show), half-time shows, product endorsements and more. 

"This is a 3 hour workshop focused primarily on breaks and break sequences. We will start with the most basic of breaks and work our way toward more advanced ones including one handed breaks, off-body breaks, wrap breaks, elbows, knees, legs and so on."


Here's one of Rachael's 'kind of' popular videos --'s 2nd most popular hooping video of 2014 with over 1,700,000 views!

Emma Kenna, September 2014.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the fabulous workshops on Sep. 26, 27 & 28. Everyone brought enthusiasm and creativity, resulting in great interactivity, learning and laughter.


Friday Sep. 26, 6:30-9:30pm - Fancy Fails
Everyone drops the hoop! It’s part of learning, the creative process and an inevitable problem you will face when performing, whether it’s on a stage or just trying to show off some moves to friends after a few drinks!! This workshop will teach you how to pick up the hoop in ways that’ll make it seem like you dropped it on purpose. Easy starts, kick ups, springs, spins, wedgies and even a few more acrobatic variations! Turn your ‘fails’ into your best tricks!
Sat. Sep. 27, 4-7pm, Crotch Extravaganza
A whole workshop devoted to hoop tricks involving the nether regions. They’ll be crotch flips, slams, grabs, rolls and jumps as well as a load of wedgies. Get ready to put some thrust into it! This is an all levels workshop with all tricks covered from the beginning and more advanced/two hoop variations for those desiring a greater challenge! Please bring a lightweight hoop or 2.

Sun. Sep 28, 1-4pm Mismatched Twins
This is twin hooping with a difference! Explore the use of 2 different sized hoops to create a visually impressive effect. The capacity for one hoop to pass through the other adds a multitude of possibilities. It’s great fun to play with and there’s loads of new tricks to be found with this interesting variation on twin hooping. This is an all levels workshop. All tricks will be covered with one hoop for newer hoopers and then we’ll add the second hoop for the more intermediate/advanced. Please bring all the hoops you are happy to share! We’re going to have to swap them around so everyone has the correct hoop combination. This workshop will also include some content from Kenna Hoop's "Twins: Change your Perspective" workshop.



Some photos…

Ninja Hoops (Zach & Marria), July 2014

What a great weekend with the Ninjas: the weather, the workshops and the turnout were all fantastic. Thank you to everyone who attended; you made it possible. Thanks to Zach & Marria for travelling from California to Ottawa to share with us. See photos from day 1 & day 2 below.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Creative Choreography with Marianne & Kelli, June 2014

Marianne & Kelli visited us from Montreal to do a super-fun workshop on choreography. We learned some fun sequences and som concepts for how to structure a performance, and then worked in small groups to assemble our own pieces. The ladies (Frou Frou & Lou Lou) also did a performance for us, so we could see what it looks like when it all comes together. They will spend the summer in Europe performing with stops in Scotland and Paris, France.

Anah & Shakti's weekend June, 2013

Anah & Shakti visited Ottawa for 3 days of wonderful workshops. Attendees came from Guelph, Toronto, Kingston, Perth, Gatineau, Ottawa and Montreal.


An all-Beth weekend June 1, 2013

Beth Lavinder joined us for a weekend in Ottawa, for our Friday night jam, an informal clothing workshop on Saturday afternoon, and a fabulous workshop on Saturday night. Fittingly, Ottawa weather felt more like North Carolina's heat & humidity, and we sweated hard at the jam and workshop. 

The whole gang looking remarkably fresh mid-workshop

DJ Warren Monkey & wife Cheryl Beth swirlsDeconstructing tshirts on Saturday afternoonBeth rattles her cage

Beth Lavinder - Sat. June 1, 2013

The amazing and inspiring Beth Lavinder presented a workshop on Sat. June 1, 2013, at Dovercourt Recreation Centre!

Beth was one of the first hoopers I found on youtube after I caught the hoop-bug, and her videos continue to inspire me (and countless others), showcasing her graceful flow, exquisite body rolls, eclectic music choices, and long hair that becomes another partner in her dance with the hoop. A long time follower of the HoopPath, she brings years of hoop practice as well as experiences around the world to her workshops. 

Here is Beth's workshop description:

Speaking softly is one of the most intimate and effective ways to communicate. We can assert and express ourselves in a subtle, nuanced voice at the same time that we speak with a quiet and certain authority. Beth's workshop will focus on new ways to interact with the hoop that will explore movement both familiar and unfamiliar, on-body and off-body. We will push the edge of what is possible when we soften our engagement, release our grip, and focus on the nuances of our connection with our hoop, blurring the line between ourselves and our prop. As we explore the techniques of Tracing, 2-point Manipulation, Core work, Lifts & Drops, Rolling, and Tossing, we will alternate between guiding and influencing the hoop's current and allowing the hoop's current to guide us and shape us. When we participate fully in intricacies of this exchange of energy, our conversations and connection with our hoop have the potential to go into deeper and more meaningful territory.

Workshop details: 

Sat. June 1, 5:30-8:30pm at Dovercourt Recreation Centre 411 Dovercourt Ave, Ottawa, ON

What do I need in order to participate?

New hoopers often wonder if they will be experienced enough for a workshop, or wonder what size of hoop is best. For this workshop Beth says:

"I encourage people to bring the hoop they love and use the most, definitely something they can shoulder hoop with. And if they cannot shoulder hoop yet, I'll give them options on the waist and other parts of the core so that they can still participate and get a full experience. What I would ask is that folks who attend should be comfortable and confident on their waist. If they can shoulder hoop (even with a gigantic hoop) that is even better. If the hoop that they need for core work is exceptionally large, then bringing a smaller (i.e. 36" or so) hoop for weaves and vertical off body work is really great. I like to make sure that most of my material is accessible in some way to beginners, but also challenges folks who have more flight time. We will be going over a lot of fundamental hooping, but with some variations so that hopefully I will challenge everyone."

Beth started hooping on the Weaver Street Lawn in Carrboro, North Carolina nearly 10 years ago when she was first offered a hoop by the woman who would later become Spiral. Beth got to witness the evolution of the hoop movement both in Carrboro and across the country (and eventually, the world) by traveling as much as she could with her hoop, attending hoop gatherings in California, Japan, England, Colorado, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida and Maine. She has been a student with Jonathan Baxter of the HoopPath since he began classes in Carrboro 7 1/2 years ago.

Beth has a not-so-secret fetish with fabric and loves creating one of a kind garments that complement hoopdance including swirling circle skirts and flowing pants in beautiful fabrics. Beth will be bringing some of her designs to sell, and will hold an informal clothing deconstruction/ fabric love-in session during her visit to Ottawa (stay tuned for details).

Some examples of Beth's hoop dance:


Jenny Hill Burlesque Hooping - October 2012

A packed house of hoopers learned the basics of Burlesque Hoop with the delectable Rita Poem including sexy struts, directing our gaze, bumping and grinding, framing, sweet spots, touch and "making breakfast". Participants rose to the challenge, donning costumes pieces and a playful attitude. A saucy playlist inspired everyone to slow down and really work it. Interest was so strong for this workshop and everyone had so much fun that we hope Rita/ Jenny returns to present more burlesque skills!

Spiral - July 2012

A packed house of hoopers from Ottawa, Gatineau, Aylmer, Barry's Bay and Montreal gathered at Dovercourt Recreation Centre on Sunday July 15, 2012 to take part in a hoopdance workshop by Vivian 'Spiral' Hancock, one of the pioneers of the modern hoopdance scene, a sought after presenter and performer, and a figure who has been a huge inspiration to many of us on our hoop journeys.

In the workshop, we played with limitations and conditions to inform our hoop movements before moving on to 3D hoop elements including axis isolations, axis spins, palm spins, finger spins, chest rolls, the chicken-gripped 'slice' and variations of these moves for twin hoops. At the end of the three hours, Spiral amazed us with a demo, displaying her grace, precision, intensity and joy with both single & double hoop.

Summer time presents a challenge for organizing a workshop since so many people are away, so a huge thanks to everyone who came out and made the workshop a success. Special thanks to those who drove from waaay out of town (Barry's Bay, Montreal) on a Sunday night. Spiral returned to San Francisco after her whirlwind Canadian appearances in Toronto and Ottawa, and is leaving soon for Europe where she will be featured at Hoopurbia in Berlin, the European Juggling Convention, and fire gatherings in Poland and Italy. We are grateful that she was able to visit Ottawa and treat us to such an inspiring workshop.

See the Flash slideshow below (if viewing from an iPhone or iPad, click to see the images on the Sirenhoops Picasa Gallery)

Safire - April 2012

Sandra Sommerville aka SaFire, teacher extraordinaire and creator of the huge online community, HoopCity, visited Ottawa last weekend. She attended our regular Friday night hoop jam and delivered a 4 hour workshop on 3D hooping on Saturday afternoon at Dovercourt Recreation Centre. A full house of hoop enthusiasts explored hinges, spins, contact flips, and wraps in a workshop that was jam-packed full of cool moves and expert breakdown.

SaFire graced us with an inspiring demo at the workshop's end, wowing us with her technical prowess, playfulness and fluidity with both single and multiple hoops. 

Check out some photos from the workshop (The Flash slideshow won't play on iPhone or iPad, but you can click to view the photos in a larger size on Picasa)  >> 



Rebecca Halls - March 2012

Rebecca delivered a content-rich workshop on Floorwork and Choreographic Technique, that had us rolling, folding, expanding, pushing, pulling, sliding…and channeling our inner-starfish. We focused on our connection to core, and endeavored to move powerfully and gracefully on the floor with and without the hoop. Hand hooping and foot hooping were added to the mix, as well as a few bruises and scrapes. It was all worth it, as we explored a whole new dimension to hooping and movement.

Thanks to everyone who came out; you made it an awesome afternoon :-)

Foot hooping prep…or tribute to Jane Fonda?

See the embedded slideshow below for more photos. 

(Please note the Flash slideshow won't display on iPhones or iPads; click it to see the photos on Picasa). 

Ann Humphreys - October 2011

Ann Humphreys came to Ottawa on Oct 7 & 8, 2011 to share HoopPath Fundamentals and Off-body techniques with Ottawa area hoopers. Day one focused on core hooping techniques, with an emphasis on our axis, turning patterns and smoothing out weight transfer and motions, and applying arms and hand techniques, from flying, sweeping, contacting, paddling and breaking (with both lead & following hands), at the waist and chest. We explored outer space and inner space in both currents. We also looked at layering each concept on top of our root movement and extending it to leg hooping, lift offs, drop ins etc. Day two expanded the repertoire to off body techniques including swings and tracing, paying attention to hands that grip, fly, contact and slide, in our weaves and isolations. The hoop was our guide as we opened ourselves up to its contact, rhythm and lessons. We ended our class with a free hoop outside, basking in glorious sunshine.

We've been waiting for Ann since last April, and we were able to welcome her with summery temperatures and a great turnout of local hoopers. Thank you to all who participated, and we look forward to Ann's next visit.

Shakti Sunfire - June 2011

Shakti presented a Hoop Dance Exploration, "Magic in the Mandala", on Tue. June 28, 2011. 

"Combining an expansive array of new single hoop tricks and technique, dance vocabulary, journaling and exercises we will ignite our skill to the next stage of refinement. This is an all levels hoop class. Please bring your lightest hoop and your journal or something to write on."

Shakti Sunfire teaches hoop dance and yoga workshops and performs internationally. She was voted 'best performance group 2008' and 'firehooper of the year 2009' by popular vote at Learn more about Shakti at


Click for pdf of posterShakti's workshop at this year's Hoop Convergence (which she co-presented with the equally amazing Nayeli Michelle Bouvier) was one of my favourites of the 4 day hoop-fest. It worked on so many levels of experience and understanding. In her workshops she introduces a framework of concepts, and makes the connection to a series of movement tricks/ techniques that are exciting and inspiring. She is an articulate and down-to-earth communicator and her radiant hoop performances combine flow, precision and expression. I am very excited to have her come to Ottawa to share with our growing hoop community!



Shannon Wall - March 2011

Shannon Wall led an excellent workshop "Below the Belt" on lower body hooping on Sun. Mar. 27, 2011, and helped us fine-tune our leg & foot hooping. It was hard work: paddling with both legs, nudging the hoop to the right spot, pulling legs out, balancing, slipping legs back in, reversing and switching currents, and smoothing out those feet in our foot hooping. We may not have mastered it, but there was so much material for future practice! Bruised feet, thighs, shins and ankles were worth it for the opportunity to learn and improve.

We're sad that Shannon is leaving Ottawa to return to Alberta for her work, but we were so happy she had the chance to share some of her fierce hoop skills while she was here!

Shannon gets us going with her energetic smile

Rebecca Halls - January 2010

Rebecca Halls of iHOOPu in Montreal came to Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Ottawa on Jan. 13, 2010 for a "Dance Technique & Hooping" workshop. Beka brings a wealth of dance, yoga & hoop performance experience to her hoop practice and teaching, and she shared many wonderful techniques and exercises with the group. The most practical piece of advice for hoopers building tolerance for sustained spinning was "Stop before you get sick." :-) She also emphasized the importance of moving from the feet and trying to bring that flow right through the body; making every dropped hoop an opporunity; and not forgetting the 'story' our less dominant hand wants to tell, amongst other concepts. Her posture, grace & powerful movement were truly inspirational. Though her 2011/ 12 schedule is already looking packed, we can't wait to have her back in Ottawa!

Rebecca Halls (Beka Hoop) of iHOOPu

Extension & counterbalance during sustained spinning

A high kick is always a great punctuation mark!Let the hoops flow using your whole arm

Descend to the floor and back up with spiral motion

Everyone gives it a try

Yay…we all made it down!

…but the tricky part is getting back up!

Strike a pose!

Rich Porter & Spiral - October 2010

Rich Porter & Spiral visited Ottawa on Oct. 7 & 8, 2010 to deliver workshops about Time & Flow, part of their upcoming DVD "Hoop Technique". Held at Dovercourt Recreation Centre, the two-evening workshop was a sell out, attended by avid Ottawa hoopers. Isopops, micro-accelerations, extensions, linear isolations and sustained spinning were some of the techniques discussed and demonstrated. These two superstars of the hooping world impressed with their knowledge, skill, coaching and warmth. They gave workshops in Montreal & Toronto before returning home to San Francisco.

Spiral leads a warmup; Rich explains Time & Flow

The group poses with Spiral & Rich.

Videos from Hoop Technique



Nick Woolsey of Playpoi was in Ottawa Dec. 11 & 12, 2010 at Dovercourt Recreation Centre to teach two 2-day workshops, "Mastering the Basics" and "Beyond the Basics". Participants were dazzled by Nick's creative approach to teaching complex poi moves, focussing on concepts and body movement, including "poi-truvian" :-P

A spin jam on Saturday night allowed more opportunity to practice and share as well as see some of Nick's jaw-dropping spinning with his fiery orange flow lights.

"Mastering the Basics" Group Scream

"Beyond the Basics" Group Shot